Hopefully you’re 100% happy with your marketing agency. They’re proactive partners that meet your deadlines, produce great work and are a joy to work with. That’s the ideal scenario. And even if you’re 90% there, you should probably stop reading now. You don’t need this post.

But if you’re not 90% happy with your marketing agency, it may be time to consider finding a new one. Sometimes it’s a budget issue. You simply can’t afford to keep paying the fees if you’re not getting the results you need. And you’re not alone.

A recent Advertising Age article notes that just shy of two-thirds of U.S. advertisers had planned to review their advertising and marketing agencies in 2017.

Why are so many rethinking their partnerships?

Here are some of the questions you might want to ask yourself:

Are they hitting your marketing goals?

Since we can track marketing ROI so well, we can also see if the marketing agency is living up to its promises. Did they help you hit your SQL objective for the quarter? Are you on track to hit future goals and do they provide regular reports with real ROI metrics? If not, are they pivoting to meet them and using failed attempts as a springboard to use new approaches?

Or it might just be that you’re not seeing eye-to-eye on business goals?

Perhaps they’re not equipped to reach your goals, their strategies aren’t working or they just aren’t in line with your objectives. Do you value the same measures of success? If an agency is focusing on leads you’re focusing on sales, that’s a disconnect right there.

Are you happy with their account management?

Do your contacts communicate clearly and often to assess various campaigns’ success? Are they hitting their deadlines and giving you smart, error-free work? Are they staying within their budgets?

Are they transparent?

Trust comes from transparency. If your agency isn’t sharing budget spend, trends, campaign performance and additional costs, it’s hard to trust them.

Related: 90-Second Spotlight – Digital Marketing

Do they partner with you?

Is your marketing agency regularly (quarterly or annually) meeting with you to go over big picture strategy and plan for the next period?

Do they continually strive to improve?

If they’re not asking for feedback, they should be. You should have an open dialogue on how they’re performing so they can continue to improve for you.

Are they keeping up with you?

If you’ve grown, is the agency growing with you? Can they still provide the volume and quality of work you expect within the timelines you require? Do they stay on top of trends and technology in the industry?

Are you happy with the work?

This is a big one. Are you happy with the design, website, content and other work?

Do you like working with them?

Sometimes there are personality conflicts that can’t be overcome. Are your teams meshing well?

Is your contract ending?

It’s a smart time to take a step back and review the agency’s performance. Did they meet the goals you set? Would you want to renew again for another year? If the answers are no, a contract end is a good time to make the break.

When to Switch Marketing Agencies | Ironmark, Annapolis Junction, MD
VGstockstudio/Shutterstock.com

How to Find a New Agency

If you do need a new agency, might we suggest an easy way to find one (in addition to calling us of course!).

1. Determine Exactly Why You’re Switching

This will help you avoid falling into the same pitfalls with the next agency; you’ll know which strengths to seek out and which weaknesses to avoid.

2. Phase Out Slowly

Give everyone time to finish existing projects. Even if you’re frustrated with the agency, don’t bail in the middle of a complex project! Do a comprehensive exit interview and review these projects and the relationship.

3. Prepare to Onboard

It will take time to get another agency up and running, with a new period of exploration and debriefing. Take the time to do this right, and make sure to discuss what was and wasn’t working previously.

4. Don’t Go for a Cobbler

The old adage about a cobbler’s children never having nice shoes holds true here too. Has your agency accomplished what they promise to do for you? Are they ranked highly on Google? If your goal is conversions, can they point to their own conversion record?

Related: How to Get Your Store Found (and Frequented) Online

5. Go by Good Recommendations

If a firm works hard to gain clients’ trust and adoration, you can guarantee they’ll do the same for you. You can find their Net promoter score (NPS) here. This reflects how well they’ve worked with current and past clients. A 30 is good, but anything over a 50 is great. Make sure to compare them to the competition because they can vary by industry.

6. Find a True Partner

As you work through the vetting process with new agencies, you’ll find that some are very careful about giving you just what you need, not selling you what they want to sell. To this end, they’ll even try to work with your team to see where there are position gaps and then try to fill them, rather than give you a one-sized-fits-all team.

Are you in the market for a new marketing firm? Connect with us! We practice what we preach, so you’ll be sure to enjoy the experience. Even if you don’t go with us in the end, we’re happy to provide with you with smart marketing advice along the way. Start here.

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Written by Lynne Kingsley

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